Beef Brisket with Wild Mushrooms
Just when you thought brisket couldn't get more depth of flavor, along some a slew of mushrooms.
Serving Size: 6 to 8
Whether or not you celebrate the Jewish holidays, a good brisket recipe or two is a nice thing to have in your winter repertoire. Brisket is a tough and fairly inexpensive cut of meat that gets amazingly tender after some quality time in the oven, and it requires very little attention or care while it cooks. That’s a nice characteristic in a piece of beef.
You can use a larger size piece of brisket, and just bump up the quantities of the other ingredients proportionately. Brisket is a very flexible piece of meat as long as you cook it low and slow, so the exact measurements of onions and liquid are not so important – just keep the flavors balanced Brisket shrinks when it cooks, so as you are assessing the size piece you need, keep that in mind. You can make brisket a couple of days ahead of time, and keep it in the fridge. Skim of any fat that has accumulated on the top, and slice the brisket before returning it to the pot with the sauce and heating it gently in the oven or on the stove.
Adding almost two heads of garlic cloves to the sauce may seem crazy, but they will also turn meltingly soft in their papery skins as the brisket cooks. Tell your guests to squeeze out the roasted garlic from the skins and add it to their sauce, or spread it on bread or toast or crusty bread (but not on Passover!). Make sure to serve this with egg noodles (again, not on Passover)or potatoes of some kind to soak up all of the sauce. Speaking of Passover, use potato starch instead of flour to thicken the sauce if you are making it on that holiday and wishing to keep strictly Kosher for Passover.
If you want a more subtly flavored mushroom flavor you can mix in some sliced button or cremini mushrooms with the wild mushrooms—this is also helpful budget-wise, as wild mushrooms can be pricey. But as any mushroom lover will tell you, worth every penny.
Beef Brisket with Wild Mushrooms
- Total Time: 4 hours
- ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- ⅔ cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 2½ to 3 pound piece beef brisket
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1½ cups beef broth
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 head garlic, cloves separated but unpeeled
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 pound sliced wild mushroom, any sort
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Mince two of the cloves of garlic, and set aside.
2. In a small bowl place the porcini mushrooms and add the boiling water. Let the mushrooms soak for 20 minutes, then remove them, squeeze out any extra water back into the bowl, then strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Chop the soaked mushrooms, and set the mushrooms and the drained soaking liquid aside.
3. Meanwhile, heat a large deep pan or stockpot over medium high heat. Add the oil. Season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear the brisket on both sides for about 4 minutes per side, until browned. Transfer the brisket to a large plate.
4. Return the pan with the oil t medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Add the flour and stir until the onions are well coated with the flour, and the flour has started to color, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom, until the wine is reduced by half. Add the beef broth, the chopped soaked mushrooms, the strained cooking liquid, and the thyme to the pot and bring to a about halfway submerged. Tuck the garlic cloves in their skins around the meat into the liquid. Cover the pot and transfer it to the preheated oven.
5. Cook for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the brisket is fork tender. Remove the brisket from the pot to a cutting board with a mot and let it rest for at lest 15 minutes. Let the braising liquid rest in the pot.
6. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium-high heat until melted. Add the mushrooms and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms have turned nicely brown, and any liquid that was released has been evaporated, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle over the balsamic vinegar and stir to release any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
7. Skim and discard any fat that has accumulated on the braising liquid. Stir the mushrooms into the pot.
8. When the meat has finished resting cut it into slices as thin or thick as you like, across the grain. Transfer the slices neatly back to the pot, and nestle them beneath the sauce and mushrooms. Serve hot. Alternately you may place the meat on a serving platter with sides and ladle the sauce with the garlic cloves and mushrooms over the top.